The gambling world is a fascinating and appealing environment for many, but not all people can enjoy it legally. That’s because there are rules and regulations that differ from country to country and even from one type of game to another (lotteries, online poker, horse racing, sports betting each have their own rules).
Sports betting is illegal, for instance, in the majority of US states, but the legislation is constantly changing, so gambling fans should always keep an eye out for any new law. And we suspect a big change is about to take place on the US gambling scene, as the Supreme Court has recently issued a landmark decision that might just pave the way for states to legalize betting on sports.
On Monday, May 14th, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the 1992 federal law that barred states from legalizing sports gambling, with a few exceptions.
Up until now, Nevada was the only state where it was possible to wager on the results of individual games. But as a result of the new ruling, a series of US states including Mississippi, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia are planning on passing new laws that would finally allow people to bet on aces betting, on sports like football, basketball, baseball and others.
But how did this historic change happen? Let us explain from the beginning. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1992. According to this law, US states had one year to let the federal government know that they wanted sports betting to be legal within their borders. Nonetheless, Nevada, Montana, Delaware and Oregon were the only states that did so, so PASPA basically blocked sports gambling in all the other states.
In 2011, a referendum was organised in New Jersey and voters asked for legal sports betting in their state. A year later, the NCAA along with the major sports leagues in the country asked for the New Jersey law to be blocked. Their argument was that it infringed PASPA, but they actually want to protect themselves somehow.
After the federal court’s ruling in their favor, the state of New Jersey went forward with the case to the Supreme Court, arguing that PASPA was unconstitutional, As it turns out, seven justices agreed. However, this does not mean that sports wagering will automatically become legal in all states. New laws have to be passed in each state that wants legal betting on sports.
It’s a well-known fact that banning gambling doesn’t mean it will actually disappear, it will be pushed to the black market. Several parties stand to benefit from this historic decision; first the States, as they will benefit from the tax revenues generated by gambling; tech companies, fantasy sports companies, esports companies, and of course, the sports fans who will be able to enjoy a new kind of entertainment.
Leagues are also on the list of entities that will benefit from all this. They have long said that gambling was morally bad for their games, but they are certainly prepared to deal with it. Leagues are now saying they need an integrity fee to offset the costs involved by the monitoring activity they have to do to protect against cheating.
Several states have already taken action and passed bills to legalize sports gambling after the go-ahead from the Supreme Court.